At 74% year over year growth — from 2013 to 2014 — the multi-billion dollar legal cannabis industry is currently the fastest growing industry in the United States. But, with high growth, comes growing pains. And, nowhere is this more apparent than security. Because cannabis is still federally illegal, banking is an issue, forcing dispensaries to deal in cash. With storerooms brimming with cash, they are vulnerable to theft and robberies — sometimes these incidents turn violent.
So, what can dispensary owners do to protect their operations?
It’s 2015, hire a security company that ‘gets’ technology.
Joel Logan, chief operating officer of Las Vegas-based security firm Reliance Security, suggests hiring a security company that is not only “reputable and experienced in the cannabis industry,” but also “tech savvy with [the] relationships to back it up.” Further, he claims, “any security company worth its weight invests in technologies to provide guard accountability, surveillance and cash-management solutions that help their clients maintain transparency, accountability, while protecting their cash.”
Logan believes the rapid growth of the legal cannabis industry is fueling significant technological innovation that will “provide enhanced security, accountability and transparency — positive effects that will further legitimize the industry.”
With the emergence of new and innovative technology solutions, Logan believes: “It is imperative that security companies stay abreast of new technologies and develop relationships with innovators in the industry. As a security company, we have an obligation to keep abreast of new technologies that provide additional layers of security to our clients’ operations.”
While there are many innovative companies, MJ Freeway and Wherefour are two companies Logan believes provide essential solutions that can be an integral part of a comprehensive security plan: “MJ Freeway is a company that has proven to be a leader in the industry and we think they offer a valuable technology platform to help companies track and report nearly everything from seed-to-sale.”
Moreover, with much of the industry locked out of the banking system, Reliance Security partnered with Wherefour, a new Silicon Valley startup that developed a compliance and security solution to address the significant cash-management challenges dispensaries face.
“We’re excited about Wherefour because their service includes payment kiosks that free employees from handling cash and enables the dispensaries to secure and track all of their cash transactions,” says Logan. “The added security helps dispensaries reduce miscounts, shrinkage and robbery risk, thereby providing a perfect complement to our services.”
Yoela Palkin, co-founder of Wherefour, shares Logan’s enthusiasm and outlook on the industry: “It’s exciting to partner with Reliance Security, as we’re able to combine our years of industry knowledge and experience in both security and technology to provide a much-needed, rock solid offering that addresses real issues that every dispensary faces today — security, cash management, and compliance.”
Palkin continues, “The synergy between our two companies puts us in an ideal situation to help individual dispensaries, while providing yet another layer of legitimacy that will address some of the most significant areas of regulatory and legislative concern. We’re optimistic that by addressing these issues, it will help the industry as a whole, and play a key role in continuing to elevate the industry’s legitimacy in the eyes of the government, law enforcement, and the public. And, no doubt, this is a great thing for all of us that work in the industry.”
While there is no way to neutralize every potential security threat, dispensary owners can significantly reduce their chances of falling victim to nefarious elements by taking security seriously and implementing some simple best practices. As Logan says, “investing in technology and hiring a security company that ‘gets technology’ will help owners protect the significant investment they’ve made in their dispensary.”
To learn more about the companies mentioned in this article, visit their websites:
- Reliance Security
- MJ Freeway
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